Son Heung-min keeps Golden Boot charge alive to show he belongs in elite company

01 May 2022 06:40

From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - Spurs' 3-1 win at home to Leicester saw them bring a run of two games without a win to an end.

That short-lived spell that saw them fire blanks against Brighton and Brentford was out of character with Tottenham's recent resurgence, handing Arsenal the advantage in the top-four race after looking like shoo-ins to race to Champions League qualification.

But Antonio Conte's men returned to winning ways on Sunday, eventually nullifying Leicester and running away with the game after a super second-half display.

Cristian Romero set the tone from the back with yet another near-flawless performance and Dejan Kulusevski's impact from the bench was pivotal.

But the headline maker from north London was once again Son Heung-min, who grabbed a brace to move onto 19 Premier League goals this season - smashing his previous record of 17 set last season.

Son is now three goals behind Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot ahead of Spurs' trip to Liverpool next week, and though not an official measure in these standings, the South Korean is the league's leading scorer from open play.

In a season of misfiring forwards taking half a season to warm up (even in his own team with Harry Kane scoring just once before mid-December), Son has been a consistent figure throughout despite claims that he's streaky and a beneficiary of purple patches.

Son's longest streak without a Premier League goal this season has been four games, a hardly egregious run (especially given that it came during the final days of Nuno Espirito Santo and the first of Antonio Conte's rein).

Spurs' number seven has reached double figures of goals in nine of his last ten seasons, with the only missing campaign coming during his debut year in north London when he was often starting on the bench. Again, claims of his inconsistency are unfounded.

Maybe this is just a stick to beat him with given his goals have not yet led Tottenham to tangible glory. Maybe the idea of Son - a two-footed pacy wide forward who is statistically one of Europe's most lethal finishers of the last decade, boasting a convergence rate way higher than the average striker - raises his expectations a little too much. But the numbers don't lie and the numbers tell you he's an elite goalscorer without question.

Son insisted post-match that he is not concerned about his goal tallies but rather the success of the team. The matter of the fact is this is now a side dependent on him to carry the scoring load, a feat bestowed on only the best of the best.

Source: 90min